For want of a better title: Malaysian Kopitiam VS Penang

For want of a better title

Tall and Tan and oh so Sexy, the boy *not* from Ipanema goes walking by...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Malaysian Kopitiam VS Penang

Heh... For those not in the know there are two Malaysian restaurants in DC, as far as I know. One is Malaysian Kopitiam on M Street NW, between 18th and 19th, and the other is Penang on 18th Street (I think). They're around the corner of each other.

Penang is a chain of restaurants supposedly selling Malaysian food. Truth be told, having eaten there I doubt it's all that Malaysian (yes I know Singaporean and Malaysian food have differences). Penang's decor gives off a very yuppie feel. Chic "oriental" designs; very hoity toity orientalism. The staff is mostly white and the manager was also a caucasian (i have nothing against white meat, I'm just reviewing the place)(ed: let's hope you aren't a closet racist). I order the chicken curry and was sorely disappointed in the fact that it was nothing like how i remembered chicken curry to be. Tak sedap, tak shiok.

Malaysian Kopitiam sits next to a very old and venerable gentleman's club (i.e strip joint, something about Malaysians and strippers)(ed: he's just kidding). The decor is exactly like a cheap chinese place. You know, the lanterns and bamboos, with the gods of wealth, health and the one for lotsa babies (couldn't find a word to rhyme with the other two) around. In other words, crass orientalism. The wait staff is far more animated and absolutely bona fide Southeast Asian. They generally spoke Malay. The boss was also around and the boss family spoke Cantonese. They also joked with the staff. Plus they've been around for a long time. I ordered the chicken curry (I crave curry right now) and lo and behold I got a bowl full of chinese style chicken curry. Not bad, would've passed in Singapore. Also the wait staff kept trying to push the Satay. But I passed, had a bad experience with satay gravy in London once. (think peanut butter)

Oh there's also a Singapore Cafe somewhere near there, but it serves Thai and Japanese food. Which makes no sense. I want my Hainanese Chicken rice and my Roti Prata. Sigh... Now everyone will think Singaporeans are part thai, part jap and part robot (ed: where did that come from?)

Ok off to bed... Night night!


  • At 8/20/2005 12:40 AM, Blogger Tym said…

    The Penang restaurant is part of a chain that started in NYC and has spread gradually to major American cities. It started out okay --- I remember eating at the Queens outlet way back in 1995 --- but I've heard that the food's gone more native (i.e. diluted for American tastebuds) over time. Pity that it's no longer up to scratch.

    PS: I once made a peanut sauce with peanut butter. It was passable. (In my own defence, this was also after I had not been back to Singapore for over a year.)

  • At 8/21/2005 7:32 PM, Blogger The Screwy Skeptic said…

    There's a Penang in Chicago too - the service is mostly Malaysian actually, and the food isn't half bad. Guess it depends on where you go.

    P.S. Hope you don't mind if I link to you from my blog.

  • At 8/22/2005 2:23 PM, Anonymous VampTreSS said…

    Fuckin hell.. I was just over at Uncle Mandrake's blog..

    And he got me droolin, all hungry over the pics of food on his..

    And now I read urs..

    I'M HUNGRY!!!

  • At 8/24/2005 3:02 AM, Blogger brendywendy said…

    Poor u! Peanut Butter is no substitue for proper peanut sauce for satay.

    My friend's in Oz at the moment. She's craving the stuff from Newton (stingray, lala, sambal sotong, sambal kangkong, baby kailan in oyster sauce) and also the food from Block 85 fengshan market, mainly BBQ chicken wings.

    I stay in the east so I know how good they are. This place also has the famous bak chor mee that cab drives swear by. Many cabbies know of and frequent this hawker centre cuz it opens till the wee hours of the morning.

    I just feel really badly for u. U.S. is so much further away then OZ man.

    By the way, hope u don't mind that i linked you on my blog. I just started it.

    I wonder why my stomach's growling. *hmmm*


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